From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Describing the Third Reich from the height of its power to its collapse, Evans concludes the masterful trilogy that began with The Coming of the Third Reich
and The Third Reich in Power
. As in those works, Evans demonstrates a fluent style and a sweeping grasp of the Third Reich's history and of the enormous historical literature. The account is peppered with insightful anecdotes drawn from diaries, letters and speeches. What comes across most clearly is the supreme arrogance of the Nazis and the utterly rapacious character of their rule. Evans gives the Holocaust the centrality it deserves, while also depicting effectively the suffering of Poles and many others under Nazi domination. Evans offers a nuanced picture of the lives of Germans, but ultimately, he suggests, the Nazis' racial ideology thoroughly corrupted German society. Evans narrates the Reich's end in gripping fashion as the Allies closed in on Germany. Evans's fellow historians as well as a broader public will read this work, not quite with pleasure, for there is little joy in this story, but with admiration for the author's narrative powers. Illus., maps. (Mar. 23)
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Evans receives a hero’s welcome in the press as he lays his final World War II tome, a towering, somber achievement of scholarship and narrative, to rest. As in the preceding volumes, Evans judiciously employs first-hand sources, measured judgments, and impeccable research to craft what most reviewers hail as the definitive work on the Third Reich of our generation. Evans never flinches from the gruesome details of this tragic historical period, yet as the Guardian notes, “in an almost Wagnerian way, you need to see the madness complete; you need to watch Berlin burning, a pyre of malevolent dreams. This is the fire Hitler built.” Despite the Spectator critic’s minor complaints about confusing endnotes and maps, that critic’s view represents the others: “If you have the time to read only a single book on Nazi Germany, this is the one.”
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